Saturday, 11 November 2017

Happy Yangsheng 快乐养生

Both as a construct and as a practice, yangsheng is probably the best and the most significant contribution made thus far by the Chinese to the world or human civilisation, even greater and more important than the well known four Chinese inventions (papermaking, printing, compass and gunpowder). Out of 90 thousand pieces of classic literature survived during the past four thousand years, 10 thousand has more or less to do with traditional Chinese medicine, which is concerned with yangsheng in theory and practice alike. As pointed out in Science and Civilisation in China by Joseph Needham, 'one of the greatest scholars in [Britain] or any other country, of this or any century' (Independent, 26 March 1995),  Chinese civilisation is the first and only one in the world to pay so much attention to yangsheng.

Etymologically, "养生," pronounced as [yangsheng], is a verb as well as a noun originated in the Chinese language. Literally meaning 'nurturing life,' the word represents a unique ancient Chinese construct introduced by Lao Zi in his great book Tao Te Ching. Inclusive as it is, the term is used to refer to all the knowledge related to, and all the practices aimed at longevity through the cultivation of one's physical and spiritual wellbeing.  When it first called attention more than two thousand years ago, yangsheng was primarily a focus, a major concern for every Daoist follower or practitioner.  However, as more and more people began to pay heed to their wellbeing, it has become increasingly popular among Chinese, especially adults. Given its rich store of recipes, therapies, methods, techniques and know-hows accumulated over the past twenty-five centuries or so, it is not surprising that yangsheng can offer something really good and helpful to every human being. Indeed, in an advanced information age and an improved living condition, who would not want to learn to live a healthier, happier, and even longer life today?

To share experience, knowledge, thought and whatever is related to yangsheng as the Way towards wellbeing, happiness and longevity, I am creating this site despite my lack of computer skills and extremely limited 'screen time.'